What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin (sign: BTC) is a decentralized digital currency based on an open-source, peer-to-peer internet protocol. It was introduced by a pseudonymous developer named Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.
Internationally, bitcoins can be exchanged by personal computer directly through a wallet file or a website without an intermediate financial institution. In trade, one bitcoin is subdivided into 100 million smaller units called satoshis, defined by eight decimal places.
Bitcoin does not operate like typical currencies: it has no central bank and no central organization confirms nor controls its transactions. Instead, bitcoin relies on a peer-to-peer network of servers to broadcast and confirm transactions. The money supply is automated by a set algorithm implemented by all participating servers.
Specifically, bitcoin’s transaction log is authenticated by hashed ECDSA digital signatures and confirmed through resolved SHA256 hash functions of varying computational difficulty. Each time miners solve these hash functions and confirm a 10-minute portion or “block” of the transaction log, an assigned money supply is earned by the applicable miners along with any paid transaction fees. The amount of bitcoins issued decreases with time: Currently, 25 new bitcoins are awarded to servers with every 10-minute block. This will be halved to 12.5 BTC during the year 2017 and halved continuously every 4 years after until a hard limit of 21 million bitcoins is reached during the year 2140.
Bitcoin is the most widely used alternative currency. As of March 2013, the monetary base of bitcoin is valued at over $1 billion USD. The large fluctuation in the dollar value of a bitcoin has evoked criticism of bitcoin’s economic suitability as a currency.
— Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin
Bitcoin virtual currency hitting the mainstream
Foundation of Utopian economy or ‘trading tulips in real-time’?
With $600 stuffed in one pocket and a smartphone tucked in the other, Patricio Fink recently struck the kind of deal that’s feeding the rise of a new kind of money — a virtual currency whose oscillations have pulled geeks and speculators alike through stomach-churning highs and lows.
The Argentine software developer was dealing in bitcoins — getting an injection of the cybercurrency in exchange for a wad of real greenbacks he handed to a pair of Australian tourists in a Buenos Aires Starbucks. The visitors wanted spending money at black market rates without the risk of getting roughed up in one of the Argentine capital’s black market exchanges. Fink wanted to pad his electronic wallet.
In the safety of the coffee shop, the tourists transferred Fink their bitcoins through an app on their smartphone and walked away with the cash.
“It’s something that is new,” said Fink, 24, who described the deal to The Associated Press over Skype. “And it’s working.”
It’s transactions like these — up to 70,000 of them each day over the past month — that have propelled bitcoins from the world of internet oddities to the cusp of mainstream use, a remarkable breakthrough for a currency which made its online debut only four years ago.
When they first began pinging across the Internet, bitcoins could buy you almost nothing. Now, there’s almost nothing bitcoins can’t buy. From hard drugs to hard currency, songs to survival gear, cars to consumer goods, retailers are rushing to welcome the virtual currency whose unofficial symbol is a dollar-like, double-barred B.
Advocates describe Bitcoin as the foundation stone of a Utopian economy: no borders, no change fees, no closing hours, and no one to tell you what you can and can’t do with your money.
© The Associated Press, 2013
Bitcoin Mythology: Red-herrings and Bullshit
My conclusions will be drawn from a biased perspective – mine. All opinions/views are biased and I hope you have learnt to describe yours as I believe the writing here describes mine. Let’s commence with an examination of the monetary metal.
Gold, Silver, Copper
If you believe it was through accident, fate, or manipulation that the market places throughout the world and throughout known history have preferred physical monetary metal in the form of gold, silver, and copper then you are quite delusional.
Through much trial-and-error with numerous mediums-of-exchange such as seeds, paper, tally sticks and other forms of currency, it was discovered by practically every culture in existence that a functional market place required something that was long-lasting, easily recognised, and easy to transport around. Over time, and throughout the world, an enormous amount of gold, silver, and copper has been forged into coins and bars to facilitate trade between individuals, groups, and eventually nation states. This isn’t an accident that occurred through chance, it happened for the simple reason that gold, silver, and copper in physical form have been the best medium-of-exchange since time immemorial.
Platinum and palladium have rarely been used since they were discovered relatively late, and because, more importantly, they are difficult to distinguish from silver. I state above that the market place naturally craves a currency that’s ‘easily recognisable’ and as a thought experiment please place a gold coin next to a silver one next to a bronze/copper one. They are easily distinguishable from each other and have provided many market places with a functional currency for items ranging from luxury items such as grand palaces to basic purchases such bag of potatoes. If there’s an item for sale, one of the monetary metals can easily provide the medium-of-exchange.
To deny gold, silver, and copper are the ‘Kings of currency’ is to state that all our history books are incorrect – which may have an element of truth to it J – but not in this context.
The mistakes in the past have been to ‘fix’ the value of gold, silver, and copper in relation to each other, and in a nominal format. Hopefully we won’t do that again and instead utilize the monetary metals on two basic principles: Purity and weight.
Binary code and perception of fiat
We’re starting to hear more-and-more about Bitcoin as time goes on and the contemporary monetary system shows increasingly obvious signs of weakness and vulnerability to collapse.
Those that encourage you to utilize the new cyber-currency called bitcoin may be well-intentioned, and indeed many bitcoin advocates are also monetary metal enthusiasts. Although there is a strong suspicion for some regarding bitcoin, I’m philosophical towards it, although I must stress that I have no interest in it myself.
However, as many have stated prior to my rantings here, bitcoin is merely binary code and has no intrinsic value whatsoever. Furthermore, it would appear to have pseudo-PONZI scheme qualities in which the early adopters are rewarded and the later-joining participants gaining less as time unfolds. Bitcoin has apparently increased in price by 2000% in two years; does anyone reading this believe this trend will continue?
In the early days of my awakening to the current monetary systems in play I frequently asked people around me the simple question, “How much of £sterling is in physical notes and coins?” I received a variety of responses with some believing that 50% is in physical form with the remaining being stored on a computer database – i.e. in binary code. I used to examine their eyes as the individual elaborated upon the simple fact that a mere three-per-cent of £sterling is physical with the vast majority simply being a virtual currency…….”A bit like a computer game” one person responded. “Yes, indeed” I replied.
Myth One: The public accepts digital currency is a good thing
I would imagine if a large percentage of the population realised their wealth was in the format of intangible fiat currency, there would be a global bank-run in a matter of days. Although our contemporary currency system has functioned like this for some time, it has worked without the general population being aware of the facts. I would also assume most folk believe their currency is stored 100% in paper at the bank, an assumption about to be proved fatal for many throughout the euro zone area.
The criminal elite have a wet dream regarding a ‘cashless’ society and are continuously attempting to implement one without success to date. This is because the vast majority of people have a psyche in the concrete and not in the abstract. Bitcoin, being an intrinsically-worthless and abstract currency will not be adopted by the general population, and I personally believe that the majority of folk currently paying attention to its progress are doing so for one purpose alone – greed and the chance of making a profit.
Myth Two: Bitcoin is a store-of-Value
People often use the shipwreck example to explain the notion that gold and silver are a store-of-value. In essence, it’s simple: A ship sinks in the year 1713 with one-hundred gold sovereigns and two-hundred silver florins on board. In 2013 the ship is discovered by a team of deep-sea divers who bring the stash up to the surface. Has the gold and silver ‘stored’ value? The answer is of course, yes, and not only that they will probably have a ‘premium’ over their intrinsic melt value due to numismatic qualities. What would happen to your ‘bitcoin wallet’ three-hundred years from now, or even 6000 years from now? Yes, there are coins from 6000 years ago made of electrum in museums that have a basic melt value. Bitcoin also requires a computer and electricity to function, which sounds, to me ate least, like a massive assumption of conditions. Without a computer and electricity bitcoins revert to their intrinsic value of worthlessness.
Myth three: Silver has no intrinsic value
This myth of nonsense has been thrown-around by those that really should know better, and I’m extremely suspicious as this myth is used in correlation with the promotion of bitcoin. Let us review the exact words again to put this myth to bed once-and-for-all.
Intrinsic: belonging to a thing by its very nature: the intrinsic value of a gold ring.
Value: relative worth, merit, or importance
Those that are perpetrating the myth that silver has no intrinsic value are attempting to get you to reason that all value is perceived…..a flip on the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” into, “value is in the mind the beholder”. This is partly true, and, after all, most bullshit has an element of truth to it otherwise it wouldn’t work.
Most DTOM readers will be aware of the wealth cycle principle and ratio investing, and will not be surprised nor enlightened with the concept that there is an element of the human psyche involved when examining value. However, I refer you to the definition above which specifically states ‘relative worth, merit, or importance’. Relativity is independent of the human psyche. For example, there is relativity in the gravitational pull of planetary bodies; a phenomenom that existed before humans, and I dare suggest such relativity will exist long after our species meets the same fate as the many species before us.
Silver has intrinsic value/importance regardless of whether the human mind knows of its existence, just like oxygen has intrinsic importance prior to human kind discovering the properties of the air around us. To suggest otherwise is either intellectually thick-as-pig-shit, or, as I chiefly suspect, the mind or minds of those with an agenda to promote ‘value’ in an intrinsically worthless entity such as bitcoin. Those that fall into the latter category should be fully ashamed of themselves, shunned by the other awakened folk, and have their nonsense challenged for all to see.
Myth Four: Bitcoin is anonymous
Trace Mayer recently appeared on a BBC Newsnight interview to pump the credentials of bitcoin to the British public. Accompanied by Mr Knowles, a shill from the Rothschild-controlled Economist, Trace and the shill debated for a few moments. You can review the interview for yourself by clicking here.
Trace was reasonably honest and stated he uses bitcoin as a medium-of-exchange to circumvent the banking sector, and conceded that it is indeed a speculation/investment to make a move into bitcoin.
After the interview Trace addressed some of the topics discussed, and one of the arguments the Economist’s shill made was that bitcoin could be used for money-laundering, i.e. he was stating the myth that bitcoin is anonymous. In response, Trace wrote:
“Additionally, all transactions are permanently stored in the blockchain which anyone can review. This leaves a tremendous amount of digital footprints that a competent forensic accountant can follow.”
“Consequently, I think Mr. Knowles is attributing to Bitcoin’s censorship-resistant nature a property which it does not have. Just because a payment cannot be stopped does not mean it cannot be traced.”
So there you have it from one of the most knowledgeable people on the bitcoin operations system. Clearly, although there are no capital controls obvious to TPTB stopping a transaction in bitcoin occurring, they could if they so wished find out what coins are being used for what, where, and by which computer ISPN.
Myth Five: Bitcoin is immune to the powers of the Banking Cartel
I’m not going to comment too much on this particular myth but would like to stress: Are you fucking kiddin’ me?
Are you seriously trying to tell me that TPTB in the western world, the same self-professed elite that had the ability to pay programmers to design STUXNET can not, if they so wished, pay the best computer experts to completely sabotage the existence of bitcoin?
Like I stated: Are you fucking kiddin’ me?
Physical monetary metals have served the market place for millennia in various regions around the globe. This is due to a process of trial-and-error with a variety of currencies with the outcome being the metals gold, silver, and copper becoming the ‘Kings of monetary history’.
Unlike bitcoin, gold silver and copper have intrinsic value outside of the human consciousness and although the human psyche does have a ‘value in the mind of the beholder’ effect on the monetary metals their value is not solely derived from such contemplation. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is digital binary code with zero intrinsic value similar to digital government fiat currency.
The majority of humankind operate in the concrete rather than the abstract, and that is an explanation as to why TPTB have so far failed to implement their wet dream of a cashless society and computer-only currency transactions. Bitcoin will meet the same reception from the general population……especially as the anger stage moves up a gear due to events in the euro area.
People will want to hold tangible wealth.
There are a few myths surrounding bitcoin and it is wise for anyone considering its usage to consider why they are interested in acquiring some:
Is it for profit? How much longer will it rise?
Is it for an international medium-of-exchange? The world is returning to localism, is it not?
Is it for confidentiality? Trace Mayer states quite clearly there is a paper trail – or in this case a ‘binary code trail’.
But hey, it’s up to you if you want to speculate on whatever and whenever. As I stated at the start of this article we are all biased and my bias motivated me to write this piece. The thing that pissed me off was the utter bullshit being peddled about that “silver has no intrinsic value.” If you genuinely believe that then you’re an intellectually pygmy not worthy of debating my 7-month-old son J
As always, keep safe and good luck. Keep stacking that physical monetary metal – especially silver – and keep your wits about you as more-and-more shills and red-herrings will be released/unleashed as we go deeper into the collapse.
Text version Here >>
PS 26 Reasons Why I Will Never Support Bitcoin
I received another long email from a friend trying to get me to join the Cult of Bitcoin.
Here is my response…
I appreciate your enthusiasm for Bitcoin.
I get the idea of what it is, and wants to be, but it is not anything that I could get behind, because it is flawed in so many ways.
Let me count the ways…
1. First and foremost it has no intrinsic value. The first 6 million were produced with little or no energy. Those that had them, set out to build the perceived value, only to sell to the greater fool for their realvalue. That is a pump and dump, Ponzi scheme.
Intrinsic value of money is what it could be used for, outside of a currency. It is easy to see Bitcoin has none, because it is just code. Silver on the other hand has something like 10,000 uses and is used in all of the highest value goods and growth industries. It is the second most versatile commodity in the world next to oil. I would contend that the age of oil is dying and the uses and need of silver in the highest value industries could lead to an age of silver. And that is just the industrial demand that has already depleted the entire stockpile of humanity. Once the dollar paradigm collapses I believe the investment and monetary demands of silver will eclipse the industrial demand. One could argue the subjective value story of Marx and Menger, but one cannot argue that silver has NO value and yet Bitcoin could, once illusion of anonymity and lotto fever fails. (We have already seen it crash to $0 before…)
“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created the problem.” Carl Jung
2. Then it is not any consciously different than the bankers who take intrinsically worthless fiat and build up the perceived value through bombs, laws and taxes to sell it to us for our real value as humans in our time, talents and energy. Just because it is voluntary is not good enough, Enron, Maddoff and Ponzi were all voluntary schemes…
3. Then it is awful even as currency, because of the massive fluctuations in its price. Do I need to tell the story of the $4 million dollar Pizza? One guy was so desperate to get Bitcoin to catch on, spent 10,000 Bitcoin on a Pizza. So an early adopter spent 10,000 on a $10 pizza that cost the pizza owner $1 to make. It is insane to think that now 1 Bitcoin this was worth as much as an ounce of gold.
4. Look at the energy input of bitcoin versus silver or gold. No one can deny that it took very little energy to produce the first 6 million Bitcoin and the only reason why it takes more now is because it was programmed that way. I challenge any Bitcoin person to look at all of the time, energy and talent to find, mine, refine and coin a single ounce of silver and tell me that somehow Bitcoin is worth multiple of that in energy?
5. It is also not anaonymous. I have heard from the Bitcoin programmers themselves that there are ways to find out who is using them and how much they have. You know that customers that buy anything online usually need to have something shipped to them, do you think it takes a genius to connect those purchases to maybe illicit Bitcoin purchases?
6. There there is the whole transparency aspect of it. I have already stated that Bitcoin is not anonymous, especially when they buy something with it, but they transparency of the log would be a way for the government to eventually role out a currency that could be tracked, traced and tax all along the way. Your history is forever on the net. Knowing that nothing disappears on the net and that we are entering an age of super processing power, I wonder if those that seem to dance in the dark doing illicit things realize that it is inconceivable that their actions will stay secret for long. I am sure in the near future it will be almost sport to identify those that want to stay secret.
7. It attracts con artists. (Present company not included.) Because of it’s supposed anonymity and non recourse nature it is attracting the worst in humanity with outright fraud, drugs and now even murder for hire.
8. Then there is the fact, that since this is all open source, the barrier of entry of hundreds of new crytpo currencies being created lowers the perceived value of Bitcoin and it turns out to suffer what all new products have, the commoditization of the idea. Knock offs will abound, more scams will spring forward and more people will get hurt and that will drive people away from the whole idea. That is until some government backs a crypto currency in a post dollar world and forces people to accept something for nothing money again.
9. Then there is the fact that this is only useful when the banking system and the dollar exist. Bitcoin needs to use banks, business and exchanges that then need to comply to government and FINRA regulations and demands. Do you really believe that when the larger ponzi scheme collapses that people are going to trust Bitcoin? I believe people will not want anything but the real tangible goods in their hands. Silver will thrive in that environment. I cannot imagine going to a farmer now much less after a collapse and trying to Bitcoin for a gallon of milk. Or how about a gallon of gas? But I am sure I could take a silver quarter and do that now, anywhere in the world, in the past, present and future. Exchange real value for real value is natural, but exchanging perceived value for real value is not for me.
10. Then there is the whole notion of Bitcoin being a cheap way of moving money. Have you ever looked at Dwolla? I think it is much better without the currency risk and is over all cheaper because the conversion from Bitcoin to Dollars is not cheap.
11. Bitcoin is not really decentralized because there are so many choke points in the exchanges and redemption of Bitcoin. People in China are learning just how quickly a properly motivated government can quash the perceived value of Bitcoin.
12. Decentralized is not enough, it must have real value. You want a decentralized currency, silver is awesome for that. It is private and can be stored for hundreds of years if necessary. It is accepted world wide and throughout history. Bitcoin cannot even begin to touch that record.
13. Then there is the fact that the CIA was in on this early, met with the programmers and the very next week Mt.Gox crashed to $0. Do we really believe that these government agencies fear Bitcoin? I believe they are simply war gaming what a post dollar world would look like.
14. That leads to the mining aspect of it. Because of it’s nature it is very difficult to mine bitcoin and only those with high powered computers can do it and I can think of no other guys than Washington and Wall St loving that with more powerful computers and using other people’s money to mine them.
15. The there is the Bill Gates thing that has bothered me for awhile. He talks about “digital mining techniques” hurting the demand for gold. At the time I covered it, it did not make sense but watching the rise of Bitcoin and the fall of gold and silver, digital mining techniques he is talking about makes sense in a globalist scheme. (BTW Bill Gates invested heavily in silver the same time Warren Buffet did.) Fortunately for the Chinese they no longer listen to these guys.
16. Then there is the China factor. China does not want dollars anymore, do we really thing that they would want Bitcoin or anything like it. Why wouldn’t they just create their own? They are going for real wealth that drives the real world powers. Why would we do anything different given the demise of the dollar? The Chinese are emptying the gold vaults and just closed Bitcoin. I believe that this paper paradigm is doomed and those with real wealth are going to establish a new set of rules. If you do not want to work for a Chinese owner you better have real wealth.
17. Then there is the tax implications. You may have not noticed, but there are trial balloons circulating that they are going to go after Bitcoin people for unpaid taxes on their profits. Remember, that is how they got Al Capone. Silver is great because you never have to spend it and can transfer wealth to the next paradigm or can be used as collateral to be borrowed against. Government gets frisky with silver then wait to pass it to your kids, it will probably be worth much more.
18. Then there is the amount of energy is needed to maintain Bitcoin. The amount of electricity to maintain the system must be growing and we are heading into an age of higher energy costs and supply disruptions. The wonderful thing about silver is that all of this cheap current energy is being saved in the inert, refined silver that needs no further energy inputs.
19. Then there is the counter-party risk of Bitcoin. There are so many points of risk and as people that are in the business of Bitcoin can see that one letter from an government agency and they would stop the dealing in it. I have already heard a could people dabbling in Bitcoin lost everything with no recourse because of suspected transactions. I never want to have “Game Over” with my wealth.
20. Then there is that anti government aspect of it. Really? It seems the Anglo American bankers love it, including Ben Bernanke and JP Morgan. It is right up their alley with something for nothing. They may crack down on Bitcoin only to launch their own brand. Look at the Lotto. They went after the mob for running numbers, but then made it legal for them to profit off of. They went after Charles Ponzi and then created their own Ponzi Scheme with Social Security. I am telling you Bitcoin or something just like Bitcoin will be used to sell to the people after the dollar collapse, a new electronic worthless currency. Who knows maybe we will get bonus points for watching TV and using it? They already have millions hooked on EBT cards, get the corporations involved and the government muscle and you could see the final realization of a digital currency where they can cut you off if you get out of line. How many stories do we already hear about bank bailins and IRS and NSA messing with people’s bank accounts. Having real wealth outside of the system is the only antidote for that.
21. Then there is the greater fool. The guy that bought Bitcoin at $7 has a great incentive to promote the crap out of Bitcoin and as more people take a shot with it it drives up the perception while maintaining a constant supply. Of course the price will go up. But what happens to the guy that bought at $1200? Does he really think he is going to find more people to bid $2000?
22. Which brings us to the BitCoin calling LiteCoin a Ponzi Scheme. It was on the official BitCoin wikipedia and has since been removed but I have a copy of it for you.
23. Enough of the lesser of two evils dialectics. The Criminal Elite thrive in this by offering distractions from the opposite consciousness solutions that are at our feet. All Bitcoiners say Bitcoin is better than the Dollar, but seem to shake and stumble on how Bitcoin is better than silver. And given the current run up I cannot see how anyone would not dump their Bitcoins for silver given the relative price between the two.
24. Even the most adamant Bitcoiners would never put all of their wealth in Bitcoin. When push comes to shove they will admit that it is not something they would go all in on. I know more than a few that have admitted to me that they are selling for silver meanwhile they are promoting BitCoin. Watch what people do and not what they say. The gambling mentality is attracted to stocks, options and Bitcoin. Real people don’t mess with that and would rather in vest in real friends, real ideas and real wealth.
I have been all in on physical silver since 2005 and have never regretted it yet. I put my money where my mouth is and have only talked about the long term store of value and non speculative logic of stacking physical metal.
Even with my coins that I sell, I am not selling my silver, we are creating an arbitrage with the customer purchase price and the cheaper spot metal price. I have continued to stack more silver while it is still available.
And in the future I never plan on selling my silver and have created the Ultimate Exit Strategy to leverage the silver in the future.
25. The destructibility of Bitcoin versus silver. How many stories of stolen Bitcoin and trashed hard drives have we already heard? Because it is just code, it will take very little to have it erased or corrupted. I could throw an ounce of silver in a septic tank for and once it is washed off retain it’s value. It would be fun to see all the ways you could try to destroy the value of silver by burning it, shooting it or dropping it. Then try the same thing with Bitcoin on a thumb drive! Magnet vs. Bitcoin could be the first episode.
26. Finally it is a digital distraction from the real wealth that will be most needed when times get tough.
Thomas Jefferson said that paper is the ghost of money. Well I say Bitcoin is the illusion of the ghost of money since it is further removed to the real wealth of gold and silver.
Just like I am sure the Silver and Gold ETFs were used to distract real dollars from physical gold and silver, I believe this lotto fever for Bitcoin has distracted a good many freedom minded people away from silver and gold. The good news is that as people sour on this fad, they will look to take their Bitcoins and cash them in. I have had more than a few confess to me that they are doing just that. And do we really believe all of these pundits that have been hyping Bitcoin aren’t doing just that? I mean come on they made a living from pushing gold and silver, but the the real money is made in hyping Bitcoin rather than the small margins on selling real metal. There will come a time when even the most die hard promoter of BitCoin will see the diminishing returns in pushing Bitcoin, and will move on. I am sure a good many of perceptive eyes will see through this and these men have sold their reputation for a quick buck.
For awhile I was a lone voice, but now I see guys like Peter Schiff and many other thoughtful men come forward and voice the same concern.
I could go on and on about this, and I have no doubt that I called it first and would not participate in any fraud for any price. I have even refused hundreds of Bitcoins as donations out of principle.
I would rather be right in hindsight, than popular in the present.
I wish you luck.